Sunday 29 March 2020

One More Story

by Hannah Retallick
warm water
She hugs him. Real tight. The bunny who cared for her when she was born, brought by an auntie’s nervous hand and placed beside the sleeping baby.
She tickles his ears. Floppy, damp with tears, stained with dust from the floor he was dragged across. Mummy had never killed him in the washer, drowned his stuffing in the sink, or passed a wipe across his face.
She whispers in his ear. He understands non-words – always did and always will. Black beady eyes, reflecting the naked bulb. He’s crying, Mummy. I’m sorry, my love, I must.
She strokes his head. Don’t cry, Floppy, please don’t cry, you’re making me cry. Jessica, come on now.
She loses her hold. No, Mummy, no. My love, you’ll get him back when I’m done – I promise he’ll be okay. Promise. Now, wash your hands, my love, wash your hands.

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